Review: The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams

Schermafdruk 2018-02-27 09.02.59Daniel Vacaniti and Scrum.org developed The Kanban Guide for Scrum teams.

In this guide we get an explanation how Kanban can help the Scrum team by visualizing work, using lean thinking, product development flow and queuing theory to optimize the flow. Combining Scrum and Kanban is nothing new, we find this for example in SAFe too.

We get a definition of workflow to understand what flow means in a Scrum context. Furthermore the following Kanban practices, used to optimize flow, are explained:

  • Visualization of the workflow – the Kanban Board
  • Limiting WIP – uses a pull system to improve workflow by creating focus, commitment and collaboration
  • Active management of work items in progress – responding to blocked worked items, incoming – out coming rates, completed according to expectations, unclogging work
  • Inspecting and adapting their definition of ‘workflow’ – explicit policies for its process

Using Kanban requires analysis of flow metrics. The following four basic metrics of flow should be tracked:

  • WIP: number of work items started but not yet finished
  • Cycle time: elapsed time when a work item “started” and when “finished”
  • Work Item Age: elapsed time when a work item “started” and the current time
  • Throughput: number of work items finished per unit of time

Not mentioned but a Cumulative flow Diagram (CFD) is a great help when analyzing these flow metrics.

The final part explains the usage of a flow-based perspective in the existing Scrum events making them flow-based by using the metrics of flow.

Conclusion. A simple and easy to read guide to get a better understanding of the added value of using Kanban by your Scrum Teams.

To download: The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams

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